Tributes for Apple 'visionary' Steve Jobs


1984-2011: Three decades of innovation at Apple

World and business leaders have paid tribute to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who has died at 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

US President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev said Mr Jobs had changed the world.

Microsoft's Bill Gates said it had been "an insanely great honour" to work with him. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg remembered his "mentor and friend".

The Twitter microblog site struggled to cope with the traffic of tributes.

Apple itself said Mr Jobs had been "the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives" and had made the world "immeasurably better".

Thousands of celebrities and ordinary people went on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to record their tributes and memories of the man behind products such as the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad.

An iPhone displays an image of Steve Jobs at a makeshift memorial outside an Apple Store in New York on 5 October 2011

The death of Mr Jobs could create a record for Twitter traffic.

Thousands of people all over the world have also been attending Apple stores to leave flowers, notes, and apples with a bite taken from them to mimic the company's logo.

Apple's leading rivals such as Microsoft, Google, Sony and Samsung all chipped in with glowing tributes.

GS Choi, chief executive of Samsung, which is embroiled in a major court battle with Apple on patents, said Mr Jobs was an "innovative spirit" who "introduced numerous revolutionary changes to the information technology industry".

In his statement, Bill Gates said: "The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honour."

At the scene

A single bunch of flowers - still in their plastic wrapper - were the only outward sign of the passing of Steve Jobs outside Apple's flagship London store in Covent Garden.

Ginnie Leatham, a brand director in the media industry, from West Sussex, hand delivered a single red Gerbera to staff inside the store.

She said: "I was really sad when I woke up this morning. I had a real lump in my throat and felt quite tearful.

"I was thinking about it on my commute into work. I always walk past the Apple store and I just thought 'I'm going to stop'.

Mr Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook: "Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you."

His comments were "liked" by more than 200,000 people within hours.

In his own tweet, Barack Obama wrote: "There may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented."

Web users in China have reportedly posted almost 35 million online tributes.

Tim Cook, who was made Apple's CEO after Mr Jobs stood down in August, said his predecessor had left behind "a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple".

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Steve Jobs transformed the way we work and play; a creative genius who will be sorely missed."

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the US had "lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein".

News Corp's Rupert Murdoch said: "Steve Jobs was simply the greatest CEO of his generation."

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will remember Mr Jobs for "knowing what made sense in a product"

People also gathered outside Mr Jobs's home in California's Silicon Valley to lay floral wreaths, while flags were flown at half mast outside the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

A statement from Mr Jobs's family said they were with him when he died peacefully on Wednesday.

"In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family," they said, requesting privacy and thanking those who had "shared their wishes and prayers" during his final year.

Face of Apple

Mr Jobs built a reputation as a forthright and demanding leader who could take niche technologies - such as the mouse and graphical user interface, using onscreen icons rather than text - and make them popular with the general public.

Life of Steve Jobs

  • Born in San Francisco in Feb 1955 to students Joanne Schieble and Syrian-born Abdulfattah Jandali - adopted by a Californian working class couple
  • Had a summer job at Hewlett-Packard while at school - later worked at Atari
  • Dropped out of college after six months and went travelling in India, where he became a Buddhist
  • Launched Apple with school friend Steve Wozniak in 1976 - first Apple computer sold the same year
  • Left Apple amid disputes in 1985 but returned in 1996 and became CEO in 1997
  • Bought Pixar animation company in 1986 for $10m
  • Married in a Buddhist ceremony in 1991 - has three children with his wife and a daughter from a previous relationship
  • Had a personal wealth estimated at $8.3bn (£5.4bn) in 2010
  • Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, and after three periods of sickness leave, resigns as Apple CEO in August 2011

He introduced the colourful iMac computer, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad to the world. His death came just a day after Apple unveiled its latest iPhone 4S model.

With a market value estimated at $351bn (£227bn), Apple became the world's most valuable technology company.

More than almost any other business leader, Mr Jobs was indistinguishable from his company, which he co-founded in the 1970s.

As the face of Apple, he represented its dedication to high-end technology and fashionable design.

And inside the company he exerted a level of influence unheard of in most businesses.

Mr Jobs also provided major funding to set up Pixar Animation Studios.

In 2004, Mr Jobs announced that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer. He had a liver transplant five years later.

In January, he took medical leave, before resigning as CEO in August and handing over his duties to Mr Cook.

In his resignation letter, Mr Jobs said: "I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role."

However, Mr Jobs stayed on as Apple's chairman.

Despite his high profile, he remained fiercely protective of his private life.

He married his wife Laurene in 1991, and the couple had three children.

Mr Jobs also leaves a daughter from a previous relationship, and as an adult he discovered that he had a biological sister, US novelist Mona Simpson.


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  • Comment number 198.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

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    Comment number 197.

    The Apple empire is built on hype. Brightly coloured machines that do the very same thing as other electrics in their categories, yet Apple have to sue those other companies claiming ideas have been stolen. Some people really need to calm down. Sure it's sad for his close friends and family that the guy has passed away... but people going in to Apple stores to pay tribute is just over the top.

  • rate this

    Comment number 196.

    I cannot believe how harsh some of you are. Even as to reference back to Diana's death! i mean seriously, the man is clearly a genius and deserves recognition as such. If you want to be petty and discriminating at least leave it until after his family aren't mourning his death. Seriously have some respect!

  • rate this

    Comment number 195.

    First off, he was a great human being. He delivered what he promised and the fact that he worked while undergoing cancer treatments and a liver transplant speaks volumes of what this man was, a true visionary, pioneer and a warrior. Although known for his tough in your face style of management he got the job done. RIP Steve, we will miss you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 194.

    In remembrance of the great man I've set up a facebook event for a 1 minute Apple silence. Join in and get your bosses on board. The most important thing is turning your Apple device back on with glee.

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    Steve Jobbs was one of the early entrepreneurs that pioneered home computing. His death represents a sad day for anyone like me who back in the 80's had a home computer and ultimately went on to establish a career and make an honest living in the IT industry.

  • rate this

    Comment number 192.

    Such a terrible loss. I can think of few others other than the likes of Da Vinci, Einstein, Jesus, Beckham, Da Vinci, myself, and Hawking who have done so much for so many.

    R.I.P Steve

  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    In the technology sense he was robin hood - he robbed from the technologically advanced, repackaged and sold to the masses as something they needed. i'm not saying he wasn't successful or good at what he did, i'm saying the messianic tributes are OTT. He was a good CEO by all accounts and very good at marketing - in no way should he be compared to Ghandi (other than the glasses

  • rate this

    Comment number 190.

    Nothing so grand, Let's take the iPhones ability to locate other iPhone users (Latitude came after Apple) , your son/daughter has one, they're not home from school yet, where are they? what's happened? i'll go get them I know where they are. There was a chance they were in danger, you've prevented it. Saved a life? I think he's saved many. And his charity donations were huge.

  • rate this

    Comment number 189.

    Steve Jobs was not an inventor, but rather a man with a gift for understanding the way with which we would all interact with our electronic devices and the passion to push it further than the next man. Jobs' products did little that was new: they just did it a lot better and in a way that was intuitive to the person on the street.

    Steve Jobs wasn't just ahead of the curve: he WAS the curve.

  • rate this

    Comment number 188.

    If you happen to own an Apple product, the man was a "genius" and a "visionary". If you don't use any of his products, most are a lot less gratuitous.

    Had he not lived at this time, all his products would have been invented by someone else. Had they not been invented at all, how much worse would life be for us?

    Please save your praise for someone more deserving.

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    Actually he was a Ghandi, just not in the peace not war sense, but in the technology sense. He could take a product, remove what wasn't needed, add what he thought would make it better and then market the hell out of it. And he won, the iPod is the most used mobile media device in the world, the iPhone owns a 26% market share of smartphones...

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.

    @ extrabull

    Of course, I meant you're and any, this Mac's playing up, again...
    ...and another zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    How? How has he changed the world? He has not brought about World Peace, ended any starvation, saved one life or cured a disease - the technology 'revolution' was happening and would have happened regardless! and not everyone even has an Apple product!
    To think him some sort of civil rights hero is an injustice to civil rights heroes! he was CEO of a company that made some gadgets!

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.

    Love to all those who knew this visionary of the tech world. I woke up this morning to that awful news and it affected me more than it should considering I don't know the man. I work in the telecommunications industry and Jobs made my own job (no pun intended) fun with the iPhone, I remember the day the 1st one arrived, it blew us all away. Techies everywhere have lost a great man today. RIP.

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    I'll try to make my point without upsetting the BBC.

    Before people in their ignorance eulogize, whether it be the man or the products, you should research the ongoing trajedy of DR Congo and colton, including the deliberate refusal to address this by Jobs and others while profiting from it. FIND OUT what I mean, PLEASE.

    "Open your eyes - DON'T believe the lies."

  • Comment number 182.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 181.

    It's a pity in a way that the consumer goods will be his legacy, when people in the business know that the innovation at NeXT especially the NeXTStep OS, was pivotal in Tim Berners-Lees' work @ CERN which gave us the World Wide Web.
    NextStep OS later evolved into (Mac OS X & iOS)
    There's at time & a place for criticism, this is not such a time or place.

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    He changed the world....forever... RIP Steve

  • rate this

    Comment number 179.

    This is supposed to be a comment on the life and death of Steve Jobs, not a bash at a companies products or their warrantys (Plus lets remember, a warranty is the guarantee of a company as to how long they expect their product to last, if it broke after, they fulfilled it)


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